Andrew Guard

2015 Irpinia Aglianico 'Zi Filicela', Ciro Picariello

Aglianico is one of Italy's great red grapes, one that produces complex, rich and deeply structured wines that can repay ageing handsomely. The Taurasi DOCG a case in point! Ciro's wine is somewhat different, it is fermented and aged only in tank and he has harnessed the grape to create a fresh, vibrant style. It's a wild but fruit driven wine with much charm and complexity - at the table with Southern Italian fare it is absolutely unbeatable!   

Ciro Picariello’s tiny 7 hectare estate lies at the heart of Campania’s white grape region of Avellino among the Irpinian hills. More precisely, he has four hectares of Fiano and red Aglianico perched on the slopes above Summonte at 650 metres altitude on volcanic, calcareous clay and ‘pietra di rame’ (copper stone) soils. The remaining 3 ha of Fiano and Greco are to be found 10 km away in the village of Montefredane, at 550 meters altitude on more clay dominant soils.

Grapes are picked in late October and given a clean but minimal treatment in the cellar; slow and gentle pressing with only the first pressing used; the fermentation ensues with natural yeasts, the gross lees are removed shortly before the fermentation finishes and the wines are fermented completely dry), the wine is then kept in tank on the fine lees until the end of the following summer, when it is bottled. Use of SO2 is minimal; The wine is clarified naturally and not filtered. These wines are brilliant, Ciro has the touch, and these are superb, expressive and character filled wines that I feel are some of the best white wines being produced in Italy today.